Avoiding Blush Blunders With Application Accuracy

As mentioned in Avoiding Blush Blunders With Shade Savvy, using the proper shade of blush for your complexion is critical if you want to enhance your already lovely mug.

But choosing the right shade isn’t the only important thing for blush betterment.

Application is just as, if not more important.

Since there are so many different types of blushes out there–powder, cream, gels, stains–knowing the best type for you and the best way to apply is key.

Here’s a breakdown with some help from Real Simple


To choose a formula, keep your skin type in mind, says Andrea Fairweather, a makeup artist in Los Angeles. If it’s dry, go with a hydrating cream. If it’s oily, pick a powder. Gels and stains are long-lasting options that can work for anybody.

Recommended Application:

No fancy application tools needed. Just your fingers! Here’s how you do it…

  • Apply it right after tinted moisturizer/foundation by swiping the stick on the tips of your fingers
  • Rub them together to warm up the product
  • Starting at the apples of the cheeks (smile!) and in small, circular motions apply the product all the way to the hairline

Femilady’s Fav: Chantecaille’s Aquablush

  • Blends ultra-light, ultra-fine powder with 50% water to create a refreshing gel.
  • Color is natural with a smooth finish.
  • Imparts a refreshing sensation upon contact.
  • Nourishes skin with Vitamin C and moisturizing essential oils.
  • SPF 8 provides UVA/UVB protection.

Make Up For Ever HD Blush

Gels and Stains

These color-saturated formulas suit any skin type. However, applying them takes practice. (Fail to blend quickly and you end up with two Raggedy Ann dots of color.) The payoff is a look that will last from sunup till sundown. Fun fact: The color is so tenacious, gels and stains can double as long-wear lip color.

Recommended Application:

I apply non-stain gels–that are a little less of a commitment than traditional stains–like cream blushes (see above). Only difference is that since the color is typically more saturated, I finish off the application with some circular swipes of my foundation brush like Tarte’s Retoucher Flawless Finish Bamboo Foundation Brush.

Stains will–you guessed it–stain your fingers so I typically avoid them.  But if you love the long-lasting effects of stain, Real Simple recommends a “synthetic makeup wedge” like Make Up For Ever’s Round Synthetic Sponge.

Femilady’s Fav: Make Up For Ever’s HD Microfinish Blush

Okay, it says it says it’s a “crème” blush, but it has a more gel-like consistency in my opinion. Here’s why it’s so rad (and why it’s currently part of my makeup regimen):

HD Microfinish Blush combines mattifying and reflecting powders to create a soft-focus effect for a radiant complexion. Its ultra-fine, second-skin texture blends seamlessly, imparting a healthy glow that’s hard not to notice. Formulated with evaporating oils, HD Microfinish Blush has a long-lasting result. Dermatologist tested. Paraben free.


Powders absorb excess oil and won’t slide off the skin, so they can be layered over other formulas to extend their wear. But powders may also creep into—and exaggerate the look of—wrinkles, so you might want to smooth on a primer first.

Recommended Application:

You guessed it: A Blush Brush. My favorite is Sephora’s Pro Flawless Light Powder Brush #50 (so soft!) Real Simple  suggests that “a wide-headed loose-powder brush may be more user-friendly than a traditional blush brush, since it’s better at distributing color.” Duly noted, I shall try that sometimes!

Femilady’s Fav:  NARS Pressed Power Palettes

Surprise, surprise. How many Female Chaplin posts have referenced NARS’ pressed powder in Orgasm? I’ve lost count. But here’s a quick list of why I love NARS blush:

  • Variety: Over 26 shades to choose from you’ll find the right shade for you.
  • Vividness: The translucent, yet dynamic shades provide a lovely glow.
  • Performance: Several swipes on your cheeks will last you all night.

Now it comes down to deciding. I know, so many color/consistency choices, so little time…

But here are some things to think about when deciding between types of blush is right for you:

  • Skin type: While dry skin would benefit from hydrating creams like  Chantecaille’s Aquablush and more oily skin might play better with powders, take into account the season. For instance, in the winter our skin tends to be drier, so cream blushes are totally fab. In the summer, when sweat and oil are more typical, powders & gels are great. Pulling an all-nighter or a day at the beach? Check out some stains.
  • Preferred application: If you like to use your own digits check out cream-like consistencies. If you prefer brushes & sponges, powders and stains will be your friend.
  • Personal preference: As mentioned above, Femilady is not a huge fan of stains (remember, I’m a makeup commitment-phobe), so I tend to go for creams and powders. But consider your lifestyle before choosing. Do you work all day and have no time to reapply? Stains and gels might be your new bff. Do you work from home and only wear light makeup during the day? Check out some hydrating creams. Do you like quick, easy, buildable, and fool-proof application? You’re a powder princess/prince.